President Donald Trump’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak has been largely coming up short, so local and state officials like Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) have been picking up the slack. This week, she’s already undertaken steps like closing restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and other similar places for social gathering, all in an attempt to help stem the spread of the Coronavirus. During an MSNBC appearance this Tuesday morning addressing her decisions, she harshly criticized Trump for his own stumbling, which has even included him insisting that governors (like Whitmer) should try and get crucial supplies like respirators on their own.
She called his commentary, which he offered during a conference call with governors from around the country, “mind-boggling,” and she insisted that states need federal support. She explained:
‘This has to be all hands on deck… so to hear the leader of the federal government tell us to work around the federal government because it’s too slow — it’s kind of mind-boggling, to be honest… We need the federal government to work!’
Trump was, apparently, paying attention to Whitmer’s appearance, because he promptly tweeted about it. He insisted that the “Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive” — but it’s not as though she can just “work harder” the equivalent of the federal government’s response into existence! Trump added that his team is “pushing her to get the job done” — but that job which he is referring to is the job of the federal government, which he and his team are failing to fulfill.
Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive. We are pushing her to get the job done. I stand with Michigan!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2020
And again, Whitmer has already taken many steps. Besides the restaurant closures and unemployment benefits extension, she also closed public schools in the state, which has been done in numerous other states as well.
‘All of these decisions that you see governors making across the country… they weigh heavily on us, knowing that when we close the restaurants to dine-in and we close all the bars, that is going to mean that people are going to lose their jobs, and a lot of businesses are going to struggle — we know this. But at the end of the day, we have to make decisions based on the best science, the best facts, and what is in the best interest of the public health.’
And here too — the Trump administration has come up short. It took Trump weeks to declare a national emergency over the Coronavirus outbreak, which frees up extra resources to deal with the situation. The delay was reportedly in part because of concern about how such a declaration might make his administration look. Whitmer commented:
‘The federal government did not take this seriously early enough, and now, it is on us to make sure we are doing everything we can based on the best facts and science available, and that we are always putting the health of our people front and center.’
As of Tuesday morning, the U.S. has some 5,200 confirmed cases of the virus, and there have been at least 94 deaths — and at the White House, it’s still people like Trump and Pence in charge.